Galentine’s Day

Last year, I participated in my very first ‘Galentine’s Day’ celebration. The hostess with the mostess, Christie of KiKiMac, had my friend, Danielle, and I over for a ‘crafternoon’ (see her post here and mine here). Last night, three other ladies and I went over to our sweet friend’s house for a night of ‘baking for our boys.’ It was seriously so much fun. I think all Valentine’s celebrations should happen with other females, as we get way more excited about the holiday than men do! But a romantic night with your man obviously cannot be replaced!


I brought over raw veggies and hummus, Chocolove bars, and some La Marca prosecco (our favorite), and the other ladies brought/made fruit, baked brie, red velvet cookies, vegan beet brownies, and sugar cookies which we spent the night decorating (this is not my calling in life, but it was a good laugh).

After cookie decorating, we moved to the craft table and made cards for our boys using all of the adorable supplies that Christina (of Christina Leigh Events) brought. I am seriously in love with her pink paper cutter! Mine is a terrible orange color, and I think I need an upgrade!

We had such a good night, and I am already looking forward to next year’s Galentine’s Day celebration. I’m convinced that all you need is delicious food, wine, baking and crafts… and of course, awesome friends.

Have you ever celebrated Valentine’s Day with your girl friends? If so, what did y’all do? Any recommendations for next year?


The Nickolas’ Christmas Photos

A month ago, I had the honor of taking my sweet friends’ Christmas card photos. We went to The Arboretum at Memorial Park, and I had a great time posing them in different places – on tree logs, blankets, benches, etc.. I was really happy with how the photos turned out, but that was more to do with photographing an attractive couple than it was about my camera skills. I was tickled to see their Christmas card arrive in the mail this week. Erin choose a beautiful card from Minted – Sasha even commented on the envelope’s font. You know a man is married to a typography geek when he picks up on nice typeface!

Have you gotten your family photos taken recently? Check out the Petrovic family and Semple family photos. I’d love to see yours! If you’re in the Houston area, I would love to take photographs for you. Shoot me an email if you are interested.

P.S. You may recognize Matt and Erin from their wedding photos in the Julia Ideson Library Wedding post I wrote here

Nickolas1 Nickolas2DSC_0519

Family Photo 101: Outfits, Poses, Photographers

As crazy as this sounds, it is time to start planning your holiday card photo. My family has taken an annual photo every year since we moved to America in 1996, and I plan on keeping the tradition alive with our new little family. After 18 years of practice, I have lots of tips to share for photos: what to wear, how to pose, and who to use! These things are all very important. If you’ve got additional help hints, please share them in the comments below!

Outfit Tips 

  1. Coordinate everyone’s outfit colors, but don’t be too matchy-matchy. 
    It is important to pick colors that complement each other, but are not all the exact same. Not sure of a color scheme? You can use Adobe Kuler for inspiration.
  2. Observe your home decor before picking your outfits.
    We recently put up a new gallery wall in our kitchen and are only using professional photos (wedding, engagement, newborn, sister’s wedding, etc.). I realized that in all of the photos, we are wearing pastels – there is a coral color in every photo. I’ll continue this trend in our family photos this year, as they will be added to the frames. Is your house full of burgundy? Wear browns or deep reds. Do you have pops of yellow? Incorporate that into your outfits.
  3. Don’t wear all white or all black.
    The detail of your outfits gets lost when someone is in all black or white – with the exception of a dress. Try to vary your color from head to toe.
  4. Avoid too many patterns.
    One plaid shirt is okay, but don’t have two, unless they are in a very similar color scheme. Try to avoid big, bold patterns and stick to solid colors.
  5. Remember that textures and accessories are your friend.
    Add textures to your outfits, like scarves, belts or jewelry. Avoid anything that makes a strong statement, unless it coordinates closely to other family member’s outfits. Another great texture is a chambray (denim) shirt. And it complements almost all colors.
  6. Classic never goes out of style.
    I love a good silk blouse and jeans. Add heels or solid flats and a pretty gold necklace and you’re set. Something that is overly trendy may have you groaning in ten years time.
  7. Wear soft tones to complement skin tones.
    I love pastels on kids – cream and tan also look incredibly good. I would strongly advise against a bright color, as those are much  more difficult to pair together.
  8. Put your baby in something simple.
    Cute onesies and pants always look good in photos! I don’t recommend multiple outfit changes, but having your baby in a sweet formal outfit melts my heart (and others’, too!). Pick your outfits, then find a cute Carter’sBaby Gap, Old Navy, Zara or J. Crew Cuts (or Factory!) outfit to match.

For Herfamily photos - what to wear, photographers, natural light, film, poses, modern, trendy, classic, blazers, cream, white, gap, j. crew, banana republic, mom, babies, dad, kids

Shop These Looks

Betsywhite Stationery

Every year, I look forward to Oh So Beautiful Paper‘s roundup posts of the National Stationery Show. I spend plenty of time looking through each post, staring at each picture and choosing my favorite designs of the year. In this post, I fell in love with Betsywhite Stationery – then I made my way over to their website, and it was over. Check out their lookbook and pictures from the show below, and you’ll totally understand why. I love finding new paper loves!OSBP-National-Stationery-Show-2014-Betsywhite-Stationery-27







Favorite Etsy Shops

I love Etsy – not for all of the fru-fru bow or homemade DIY stores, but the amazing selection of custom stationery, stamps, prints, and decor. I recently browsed my order history (which is rather large) and realized how many gems I’ve found on this website. I decided to roundup my favorite stores so that you can hopefully feast your eyes (and wallets) on some of these gorgeous treats. Are you a frequent Etsy shopper? If so, which are your favorite shops?







Whitney English



Em Dash Paper Co






Angelique Ink





Quill and Fox





Paloma’s Nestil_570xN.146533345




Gnome Sweet Gnome




Sycamore Street Press